Rochester area hospitals weigh in on COVID surge

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ROCHESTER, N.Y.(WHEC) — COVID cases and hospitalizations have jumped in Monroe County and 695 new cases were reported Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the chief medical officers of Rochester Regional Health and URMC weighed in on where we stand in terms of the virus.

“Two years in, I believe it’s appropriate to reframe our thinking that, you know, coronavirus is going to be part of the human experience,” Dr. Mayo said.

According to the Monroe County Department of Health, new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

Local hospitals are seeing more and more patients coming in and are now looking at the bigger picture when it comes to covid in the community, thinking the virus will continue to evolve.

“As far as health care settings go, where we have at-risk patients, elderly patients and immuno-suppressed patients I see no change in masking here in the foreseeable future,” Dr. Apostolakos said.

On Monday, Philadelphia’s health commissioner announced they will bring back masks next week, becoming the first major U.S city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate as cases rise. News10NBC asked if they recommend doing the same in Monroe County.

“I don’t know when decisions will be made regarding additional re-implementation of some of these interventions,” Dr. Mayo said. “But when they come, I think that we should accept them with the understanding that they work. They have worked in the past and in that they will probably come back.”

“Medically it would be best if everyone were masking now all the time,” Dr. Apostolakos said. “But is that really something that our society and public health will endorse?”

Both said while it’s a public health decision it can only help for other viruses like the flu and dealing with nursing homes and the lack of beds available.

“We’ve lost, well, more than a thousand nursing home beds in our community,” Dr. Apostolakos said. “This has led to a backup of patients in our hospitals. We have more than 70 patients right now at Strong that are ready to go to a nursing home and there’s no nursing home bed for them.”

Strong Memorial Hospital as of Wednesday discharged 5,000 COVID-19 patients since the pandemic started.

A spokesperson from Monroe County said as of now, there are no plans for an indoor mask advisory or further actions.